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H. ^'- 








O F 



Collc&ed in the Highlands of Scotland, 


Tranflttted from the Galic or Erfs Language, 

t> M ~to" 

Vos quoque qui fvrtss anhnas 9 lelloque peremtas 
"Laudibtu In hngum vatzs dhnhtlth avion 9 
Plurima fectiti fudljth carrnina Bardi. 


Printed for G. Hamilton mA y^KViWsv 





P R E F A C E. 

THE public may depend on the • 
following fragments as genuine 
remains of ancient Seottifh poetry* The 
date qf their compofition cannot be ex- 
actly afcertained. . Tradition* in the 
country where they were written, refers 
them to an asraof the moft remote anti- 
quity : and this tradition is fupported by 
the fpirit atid drain of the poems- them- - 
felves ; which abound : with thofe 
ideas, and paint thofe manners, that 
belong to the moft early ftate of fo- 
ciety. The di&ion too,, in the origi- 
nal,, i& very obfolete \ and differs wide- 
ly from the ftyleof fuch poems as have 
been written in the fame language twa» 
or three centuriefrago; They were cer~ • 
fcainly compofed before th&x eft^hl^-- - 

A 2*1 mS3$& ; - 

Brent of clanfhip in the northern part 
of v Scotland,, which is itfelf very an- 
cient; fop had clans- been*the» fon»ed> 
ancTkn own, they mud have made a con- 
siderable figure in the work of a Highland" 
Bard ; whereas-there is not the leaft men- 
tion of thehi in thefe poems. It is remark- 
able that there are found in them no allu- 
fionsto.the Chriftian religion or worfhip; v 
indeed^ few traces ofreligion of any kind.. 
One circumstance feems»to prove them, 
to be coeval with the very infancy, of, 
Chriftianity in Scotland. In a frag- 
ment of the fame poems, which the 
tranflator has feen, w a Culdee or Monk 
is reprefented as defipous to take down 
in writing from the mouth of Ofcian, 
who is the principal pdtfonage: in fevexak 
of the following fragments, his warlike, 
atchievements and thofe of his family.. 
But Ofcian treats the monk and his reli- 
gion with difdain, telling him, that the 
deeds of fuch great men were fubje&s too* 

high to* hr recorded by him,, or by any 
of his religion; A full proof that 
Chriftianity was not as yet • eltablUhecL 
in the country- 

Though the poems' now publifliecf 
appear as detached pieces in this col- 
lection, there, is ground to believe that 
rood of them were originally epifodes 
of a greater work which related to the 
wars of FiugaL Concerning this hero 
innumerable traditions remain, to this 
day, in the Highlandsof Scotland- The 
ftory of Ofcian, his fon, is fo generally 
known,, that to defcribe one in whom 
the race of a great family ends,, it has 
pafled into a proverb;. "Ofcian thelaft 
" of the heroes." . 

, There can be no doubt that thefe 
poems are to be afcribed to the Bards; 
a -race of men well known to have conti- 
nued throughout many ages in Ireland 

[ vi ] 

and the north of Scotland. : Every chief 
or great man had in his family a Bard or' 
poet, whofe office it was to record in 
verfe, the illuftrious anions ©f that fa-> 
mily. By the fucceffion of thefe Bards, . 
fach poems were handed down from race 
to race; fome in manufcript,, but more 
hy oral tradition*. And tradition, in a. 
country fo free; of intermixture with fo- 
reigners, and among a people fo ftrong— 
ly attached fo the memory of their an- 
ccftors, has preferved many of them ia> 
a great meafore iacorrupted to this day. 

They are not fet t© mufic, nor fung. 
The versification in the original is> 
fimple ; and to fuch as underftand the: 
language,, very fmooth and beautiful. 
Rhyme is feldom ufed r but the cadence r 
and the length, of the line varied, fo as to- 
fiiit the fenfe. The tranflation is- ex- 
tremely literal* . Even the arrangement 
of the words ip the original has beet* 

[ ™ 1 

; imitated; to which muCt be imputed 
*ifome kiverfions in the ftyle, that otber- 
«wi£e would cot have bcea cbofen. 

Of the poetical merit of thefe ftag- 
vments nothing fhall here be (aid. Let 
the public judge, aad pronounce. It 
is believed, that, by a careful inquiry; 
many more remains of ancient genius, 
no lefs valuable than thofe bow given 
to the world, might be found iu the 
fame country where thefe have bcea 
coUe&ed* In particular there is rcafon 
to hope that one work of coafiderable 
4ength, and which xleferves to be fly led 
.an heroic poem, might be recovered and 
tranfkted, if encouragement were givea 
to fttch aa undertaking. The fab* 
je& is, an invafion of Ireland by 
Swarthaa King of Locblya j which is 
the name of Denmark in the Erie Ian- 
•guage. Cuchulaid, the General or Chief 
(rftiielnfli tribes, upon inteUi^ && 

Till ] 

>mvafion, aflembles his forces. Councils 
are held ; and battles fought. But af- 
ter feveral imfuccefsful engagements, 
the. Irifh are forced to fubmit. At 
length, Fitigal King of Scotland, called 
in this poem, " The Defert of the hills," 
arrives with his -{hips to aflift Cuchu- 
Jaid. He expels the Danes from the 
.country ; and returns home vi&orious. 
This poetn is held to be of greater anti- 
quity than any of the reft that are pre- 
ferred* : And the author fpeaks of him- 
felf as prefent in the j expedition of Fin- 
gal. The three laft poems in the collec- 
tion are fragments which the tranflatot 
obtained of thisepic poem ; and though 
very imperfect, -they were judged not 
unworthy of -"being iirferted.' If tlie 
whole were recovered, it might fefve to 
throw coitfiderable' light upon the Scot- 
tish, and Irifh antiquities. 






MY love is a fon of the hilL 
He purfues the flying deer* 
His grey dogs are panting 
-around him ; his bow-fking founds in 
the wind* Whether by the fount of 
the rock, or by the ftream of the 
mountain thou lieft ; when the rulhes are 
nodding with the wind, and the mift 
Is flying over thee, let me approach 
my love unperccived, and fee him 
from the rock. Lovely I faw thee 
firft by the aged oak ; thou wert re 6 * 
turning tall from the chace ; the faireft 
among thy friends* 

I TO ] 

'Shtl R I c. 


"What voice is that I hear? that 
voice like the fummer-wind. I fit 

not by the nodding rufhes; I hear not 
the fount of the rock. Afar/Vinvdia,* 4 
afar I go to the wars of Pingal. My 
dogs attend 'me no more. No more 
I .-.tread the hill. No more from on 
high I fee thee, fair-moving by the 
--{bream of the plain; bright as the 
bow of heaven ; as the moon on the 
aveftern . wave.. * *' 



Then thou art gone, O Shihric"! 
and I am alone on the hill. The 
deer are feen on the brow ; void of 
fear they graze along. No more they 
dread the wind $ no more the ruftling 
Jree. The hunter is far removed; 

[ II ] 

he is in the field of graves* Stran^ 
gers! fons of the waves! fpare my?* 
lovely Shilric- 

ShU-RIC. w 

<- Itp fall I muft in the field, raife higlfe 
my grave, Vinvela. Grey ft ones, ancD 
heaped-up earth, (hallmark me to future- 
times. When the hunter fhall fit by 
the mound, and produce his food at 
noon,. " fome warrior refts here," he- 
will fay; and my fame (hall live in his> 
praife. Remember me, Vinvela,. whsj* 
low on earth I lie ! 

Vl-'N V EL A. 

Yes !-r-I will remember thee — indeed^ 
my Shilric will fall. What (hall I do r 
my love! when thou art gone folder?* 
Through thefe hills I will go at nccn : ; E 
will go through the filent heaths Th$rc: 

- ■ . - ,t 

[ 12 1 , 

I will fee where often thou fatteft return- 
ing from the chace. Indeed, my Shil- 
ric will fall; but I wili rememba 

I ** 1 


T Sit by the mofly foori&in ; on the 
top of the hill of winds* One tree is 
milling above me. Dark waves roll 
over the heath* The lake is troubled 
below. The deer defcend from the 
bill. No hunter at a distance is feen ; 
no whittling cow-herd is nigh. It is 
mid-day : but all is filent. Sad are my 
thoughts as I fit alone. Didft thou 
but appear, O my love, a wandefer on 
the heath P thy hair floating on the 
wind behind thee j thy bofom heaving 
on the fight ; thine eyes full of tears 
for thy friends, whom the mift of the 
hill had concealed f Thee I would com- 
fort, my love, and briag thee to thy 
father's houfe. 

But is it (he that there appears, like 
a beam of light on the heath ? bright 

C 14 1 

as the moon in autumn, as the fun in: 
a fummer-ftorm ? — She fpeaks : but 
how weak her voice ! like the breeze 
in the reeds of the pool. Hark ! 

Return est thou fafe from the war?. 
Where are thy friends, my love ? I. 
heard of thy death on the hill -, I heard 
and mourned thee* Shilric ! 

Yes, my fair, I return ; but I alone, 
of my race. Thou fhalt fee them no 
more: their graves I raifed ontheplain.. 
But why art thou on the defert hill ? 
why on the heath, alone? 

Alone I am, O Shilric! alone in the 
winter-houfe. With grief for thee I ex- 
pired. Shilric, I am pale iri the tomb*. 

She fleets, fhe fails away ; as grey 
inift before the wind ! — and, wilt thou 


t «5 1 

^not ftay, my love? Stay and behold 
my tears? fair thou appeared, my lore! 
fair thou waft, when alive! 

By the mofly fountain I will fit ; on 
the top of the hill of winds. When 
friid-day is filent around, converfe, O 
*my love, with me ! come on the wings 
<>f the gale ! on the blaft of the moun- 
tain, come ! Let me hear thy voice, as 
thou paflfeft, when mid-day is filent a- 


{ i* 3 


TJ 1 Vening is grey on the hills. The 
north wind refounds through the 
woods. White clouds rife on the fky: the 
trembling fnow defcends. The river howls 
afar, along its winding courfe. Sad, 
by a hollow rock, the grey-hair'd Carryi 
fat. Dry fern waves over his head ; his 
feat is in an aged birch. Clear to the 
roaring winds he lifts his voice of woe. # 

Tossed on the wavy trceati is He, 
the hope of the ifles ; Malcolm, the 
fupport of the poor ; foe to the proud 
in arms ! Why haft thou left us behind ? 
why live we to mourn thy fate ? We 
might have heard, with thee, the voice 
of the deep ; have feen the oozy rock* 

Sad on the fea-beat fhore thy Ipoufe 
Jooketh for thy return. The time of 

[ *7 J 

thy promife is come ; the night is ga~ 
thering around. But no white fail is 
on the fea; no voice is heard except 
the blufterihg winds. Low is the foul 
of the war ! Wet are the locksof youth ! 
By the Foot of fonie rock thou lieft; 
wafhed by the waves as they come. 
Why, ye winds,, did ye bear him on 
tiie defert - rock? Why,, ye waves, did; 
ye roll over him ? 

But, Oht what voice, is th 
Who rides on that meteor of fire ! Greer* 
are his airy limbs. It is- he ! it is the 
ghoft of Malcolm ! — Reft, lovely foul,, 
fell on the rock y and let me hear thy 
voice! — He is gone,, like a dream of 
the night. I fee him through the frees... 
Daughter of Reynold f" he is- gone.. 
Thy fpoufe fhall return no- more. Na- 
more fhall his hounds come from the 
hill, forerunners of their mailer. No- 
more from the diUant rock fhall his* 

i ■ > . 
» i ■ 

[ i8 ] 

voice greet thine ear. Silent is he in 
the deep, unhappy daughter of Rey- 
nold ! 

I will fit by the ft ream of the plain. 
Ye rocks! hang over my head. Hear 
my voice, ye trees ! as ye bend on the 
ihaggy hill. My voice (hall prefer ve 
the praife of him,, the hope of the 

C i.9 1 





H O cometh from the hill, like 

a cloud tinged -with the bes 

YV a cioua tingea -witii tne beu^ 
of the weft ? r Whofe voice is that, 1<XZ) 
as the wind, but pleafant as the harp of 
Carryl? It is my love in the light of 
fteel } but fad is his darkened brow. 
'Live the mighly race of Fingal? or 
what difturbs my Connal ? 


Th e y live* I fa w them return from 
the chace, like a ftream of light. The 
fun was on their fhields : In a line they 
*defcended the h ill . Loud is tk'sw^ <*£ 

[ 20 ^ 

the youth ; the war, my love, is near* 
To-morrow the enormous Dargo comes 

•to try the force of our race. The race of 
Fingal he defies ; the race of .battle and 

'Con n a l , I faw his fails like grey mfft 


<H|the fable wave. They came to land. 
<H§hnal, many are the warriors of 

Co^N A L. 

Br i n g me thy father's fliield ; the iron 
Jhield of Rinval ; that fhield like the 
full moon when it is darkened in the 


I w 3 


That fhicld J bring, O Connal ;<\>tft, 
it did not defend my father. By the 
lpear of Gauror he fell. Thou mayft 
sfall, O Connal ! 

Co N N A X. 

Fall indeed I may : But raife my 
tomb, Crimora. Some ftones, a mound 
of earth, fhall keep my memory. 
Though fair thou art, my love, as the 
light ; more pleafant than the gale of 
the hill ; yet I will not flay. Raife my 
tomb, Crimora. 

Cr I mora. 

Then give me thofe arms of light ; 
that fword, and that fpear of fteeU t 
fhall meet -Dargo|jfith thee,, a&& ^\& wj 

f « ] 

lovely Connal. Farewell, ye rocks of 
Ardven ! ye deer ! and ye dreams of 
the hill! — We fhall return no more. 
Our tombs are diftant far. 

[ *3 | 


A Utumn is dark on the mountains; 
grey mift refts on the hills. The 
whirlwind is heard on the heath. Dark 
rolls the river through the narrow plain.^ 
A tree ftands alone on the hill, and 
marks the grave of Connal. The leaves 
whirl round with the wind, and drew 
the grave of the dead. At times are 
feen here the ghofts of the deceafed, 
when the mufing hunter alone flalks 
flowly over the heath. 

Who can reach the fource of thy 
race, O Connal ?• and who recount thy 
Fathers ? Thy family grew like an oak 
on the mountain, which meeteth the 
wind with its lofty head. But now it 
is torn from the earth. Who fhall fup- 
ply the place of Connal ? 

[ 2 4 ] 

Here was the din of arms; and 
here the groans of the dying. Mourn- 
ful are the wars of Fipgal ! O Connal ! 
it was here thou didft fall. Thine arm 
was like a ftorm ; thyfword, abeam 
of the flcy ; thy height, a rock on the 
plain ; thine eyes,, a furnace of fire. 
Louder than a florin was thy voice, 
when thou> confoundedft the field. War- 
riors fell by thy fword, as the thiftle by 
the ftaff of a boy. 

Dargo the mighty came on, like a 
cloud of thunder. • His brows were con- 
tracted and dark. His eyes like two 
caves in a rock. Bright rofe their 
fwords on each fide •, dire was the clang 
of their fteel. 

The daughter of Rinval was near; 
Crimora, bright in the armour of man ; 
her hair loofe behind, her bow .in her 
hand. She followed the youth to the 


[ *s } 

ws% Connal her much beloved. She: 
drew the firing on Dargo ; but erring; 
pierced her ConnaL ■' He falls like an 
oak oh the plain y like a rock from the 
fhaggy hill. What fhali fhe do, hap- 
fcfs maid ! — He bleeds \ her Connal dies. 
All the night long fhe cries,, and all the 
day, O Connal, my love, and my 
friend! With grief the fed* mourner 

Earth here inclofeth the loveliefl: 
pair oh the hill. The grafs grows be- 
tween the ftones of their tomb ; I fit in> 
the mournful fhade. The wind fighs 
through the grafs ; and their memory 
rufhes on my mind. Undiflurbed you 
now fleep together ; in the tomb of the 
mountain you reft alone. 




[ *$ 1 


CON of the noble Fingal, Ofcian;, 
Prince of men! what tears run down> 
the cheeks of age? what fliades thy 
mighty foul ? 

Memory, fdn of AIpm,„ memory 
wounds the aged,. Of former ti mes are: 
my thoughts 5, my thoughts are of the: 
noble Eingal. The race of the king re- 
turn into my mtnd^and wound mc with: 

One day^ retumedfrom the fport of 
die mountains, from purfuing the fons . 
of the hill,, we covered this heath with- 
ouryouth* Fingal the mighty was here,,, 
andOfcur, my. fon,. great in wan Fait/ 
oa our fight from the fea, at once, a^ 
nirgin came. Her bread was like the: 
fcpw of one night , Her cheek like the: 

t *7 1 

3>u& of the rofe. Mild was her Hue 
trolling eye: but foFrow *was big in her 

Ping XL renowned in war ! fhe cries, 
r lbfis of the king, preferw me ! Speak fc- 
*cure, replies the king, daughter of beau- 
Hy, fpeak*: our ear is open to all : our 
Swords redrefs the injured. I fly from 
47Hin, fhe cries, from tJllin famous in 
: war. I fly from the embrace of him 
-who would debafe my blood, Cremor, 
*the friend of men, was<my father ; Cre- 
*mor the Prince of Inverne. 

Fin gj^l's -younger fons arofe; Carryl 
^expert in the bow j FiHan beloved of 
the fair ; and Fergus ftfft in the race. 
-^-Who from the fartheft Lochlyn? 
who to the feas of Molpchafquir ? who 
*dares hurt the maid whom the fons of 
3Fingal guard ? Daughter of beauty, reft 

D 2 feeurc^ 


[ 28 ] 

fecare j reft in peace, thou faireft of wo- 

»» • . • ■ . 


Far in the blue diftance of the deep, 
fome fpot appeared like the back of the 
ridge-wave. But foon the fhip increafed 
on our fight. .The hand of Ullin drew 
her to land. . The mountains trembled 
as he moved. The hills fliook at his 
fteps. Dire rattled his armour around 
him. Death and deftru&ion were in his 
eyes. His ftature like the roe of Mof- 
v$n. He moved in the lightning of 

» ■ 

.Our warriours fell before him, 
like the field before the reapers. Fin- 
gaPs three fons he bound. He plun- 
ged his fvvord into-the fair-one's breaft. 
She fell as a wreath of fnow before the 
fun in fpring. Her bofom heaved in 
<death > her foul came forth in blood. 


[ 29 ] 

OsctJR my .fen came .down $ the, 

mighty in battle defcended. His armour 

rattled as thunder $ and the lightning of 

his eyes, was terrible. There, was the 

clafbing of fwords ; there, was the voice 

of fteel. They ftruck and they thruft ; 

they digged for death with their fwords. 

JBut death was diftant far, and delayed 

■to come. The fun began to decline^ 

and the cow-herd thought of home. 

Then Ofcur's keen fteel found the heart 

of Ullin. He fell like a mountain-oak 

^covered over with glittering froft : He 

fhone Jike a rock on the plain.— 

-Here the daughter of beauty lieth ; and 

Aere the braveft of men. Here one 

day ended the fair and the valiant. 

Here reft the purfuer and the pur- 


Son of Alpin ! the woes of the aged 
are many : their tears are for thp paft. 
This raifed my forrow, warriour ; me- 

I 3° 3 

mory awaked my grief. T3Jcnf my 
ion was brave ; but Ofcur is now no 
more. Thou haft heard my grief, O 
46n of Alpin ; forgive the*tears of the 



'II^KY openeft thou aftfefli tlic fprihg«of 
my grief, loo of Alpin, inquiring 
how Ofcufc fell? My eyes arc blindwith 
tears ; but memory beams on my heart. 
How can I j&Latc the mournful death of* 
the bead of the people!" Prince of the- 
warriours^ Ofcur my fbn,,fliali I fee thee; 
do more !■" 

He fellas the moon in a> ftorm; as 
the fun from? the midft o£ hisr ctmrfe,, 
when clouds rife from thewafteofthe 
waves, when -the blacknefe o£ the ftbnik 
inwraps the rocks of Ardannidcivl, like 
an ancient oak ©n Morten, I moulder, 
alone in my place. The blaft hath lop- 
ged my branches away ;.; and I tremble- 
at the. wings* of the norths Prince o£ 
the warriors, Ofcur my fon S flialL I fee 
thee no more ! 

[ 32 J 

Derm id and Ofcur were one : They 
reaped the battle together. Their 
friendfhip was ftrong as their fteel ; and 
death walked between them to the field. 
They came on the foe like two rocks 
falling from the brows of Ardven. Their 
fwords were ftained with the blood of 
the valiant: warriours fainted at their 
names. Who was a match for Ofcur,: 
but -Der raid? and who for Dermid, but 
Ofcur ? 

They killed mighty Dargo in the 
field; Dargo before invincible. His 
daughter was fair as the morn ; mild 
as the beam of night. Her eyes, like 
two ftars in a (hower : her breath, the 
gale of fpring : her breafts, as the new- 
fallen fnow floating on the moving heath. 
The warriours faw her, and loved $ their 
fouls were fixed on the maid. Each 
loved her, as his fame ; each muft pof- 
fcfs her ox die. But her foul was fixed 

[ 33 ] 

on Ofcur ; my fon was the youth of 
her love. She forgot the blood of her 
father ; and loved the hand that flew 

■ * • - 

SoNofOfcian, faid Dermid, Hove; 
O Ofcur, I love this maid. But her 
foul cleaveth unto thee ; and nothing 
can heal Dermid. Here, pierce this 
bofom, Ofcur ; relieve me, my friend, 
with thy fword. 

My fword, fon of Moray, (hall ne- 
ver be ftained with the blood of Der- 



Who then is worthy to flay me, O 
Ofcur fon of Ofcian ? Let not my life 
pals away unknown. Let none but Of- 
cur flay me. Send me with honour to 
the grave, and let my death be renown- 

* - » 

£ Dermid, 

I 34 1 

TDermtd, make ufe of thy* Iword,; 
vfan of Moray, wield thy fteel. Would 
:ihat I fell with thee ! that my death 
: came from the hand of Dermid ! 

They fought by the brook of the . 
mountain ; by the ftreams of Branjjo. 
JSlood tinged the filvery ftream, and 
crudled round the mofly flones. Der- 
mid the graceful fell* fell, and fmiled in 



And fallefl thou, fon 6f Morny:; 
failed thou by Qfcur's hand! "Dermid 
invincible in war, thus do I fee theefalli 
— He went, and returned to the maid 
whom he loved j returned, but Ihe per- 
ceived his grief. 

Why that gloom, fon of Ofcian ? ^ 
what fhades thy mighty foul ? 

Though once renowned for the bow, 


C 35 3 

Omaid, I have loft my feme. Fixed on 
a tree by the brook of the hill, is the 
ifeield of Gormur the brave, whom in 
battle I flew. I have wafted the day 
in vain, nor could my arrow pierce iL - 

Let me try, fon of Ofciaa, the fkill 
of Dargo's daughter. My hands were 
taught the bow ; my father, delighted ia, 
my fkill. 

She went. Be flood behind the 
firield. Her arrow flew and pierced his* 
breaft *. 

* Nothing was held by the ancient Highlanders more 
•flfential to their glory, than to die by the hand of force 
perfon worthy or renowned. This was the occafion* * 
of Oftnr's contriving to be flain by his miftrefs, now 
that be was weary of life. In thofe early times 
filicide was utterly unknown among that people, and 
no traces of it are found in the old poetry.. Whence 
the tranflator fufpe&s the account that follows of the 
daughter of Dargo killing herfelf, to be the interpola- 
. lion of feme later Bard. 

[ 36 ] 

Blessed be that hand of fnow; and 
blefled thy bow of yew ! I fall refolved 
on death : and who but the daughter of 
Dargo was worthy to flay me ? Lay me 
in the earth, my fair-one j lay me by 
the fide of Dermid. 

Oscur! I have the blood, the foul 
of the mighty Dargo. Well pleafed I 
can meet death. My forrow I can end 
thus.-— —She pierced her white bofom 
with fleel. She fell ; fhe trembled $ and 

By the brook of the hill their graves 
are laid; a birch's unequal fhade covers 
their tomb. Often on their green earth- 
en tombs the branchy fons of the moun- 
tain feed, when mid-day is all in flames, 
and filence is over all the hills. 



[ 37 J 


*DY the fide of a rock on the hill, be- 
neath the aged trees, old Ofcian 
fat on the mofs 5 the laft of the race of 
Fingal. Sightlefs are his aged eyes; 
his beard is waving in the wind. Dull 
through the leaflefs trees he heard the 
voice of the north. Sorrow revived in 
his foul : he began and lamented the 

How haft thou fallen like an oak, 
with all thy branches round thee ! Where 
is Fingal the King? where is Ofcur my 
fon ? where are all my race? Ala^t in 
the earth they lie. I feel their tqmb$ 
with my hands. I hear the river below 
murmuring hoarfely over the ftones. 
What dofl thou, O river, to me ? Thou 
bringeft back the memory of the pafl, , : 


[ 3« 1 

The race of Fingal flood on thy 
banks, like a wood in a fertile foiL 
Keen were their fpears of fteel. Hardy 
was he who dared to encounter theifc 
rage. Fillan the great was there. Thou- 
Ofcur wert there, my fon I Fingal him- 
felf was there, ftrong in the grey locks, 
of years. Full role his finewy limbs;- 
and wide his fhoulders fpread. The 
unhappy met with his arm, when the~ 
pride of his wrath arofe. 

The fon of Morny came ; Gaul, the 
tallefl of men. He flood on the hill like 
an oak ; his voice was like the flreams of 
the hill. Why reigneth alone, he cries^ 
the fon of the mighty Corval ? Fingal is 
not flrong to fave : he is no fupport for 
the people. lam ftrong as a florm in: 
the ocean ; as a whirlwind on the hill. . 
Yield, fbn of Corval ; Fingal^ yield to- 

[ 39 ■] 

OscuR ftood forth to meet hrm ; 

Mny foil would meet the foe. But Fin- 
gal came in his ftrcngth, and fmiled at 

*he vaunter's boaft. They threw their 

- arms round each other ; they ftruggled 
on the plain. The earth is ploughed with 
their heels. Their bones crack as the boat 
on the ocean, when it leaps from wave to 
wave. Long did they toil ; with night, 
ithey fell on the founding plain ; as two 
oaks, with their branches mingled, fall 

: crafhing from the hill. The tall fon 
of Moray is bound ; the aged over- 



Fair with her locks of gold, her 
Cnoothneck, and her breafts of fhow ; 
fair, as the fpirits of the hill when at 
filent noon they glide along the heath; 
fair, as the rain-bow of heaven; came 
Minvane the maid. Fingal! fhe foft- 
ly faith, loofe me my brother GauU 
lioofe me the hope of my race, the tar- 

• \ 

t 40 ] 

ror of all but Fingal. Can I, replies the 
King, can I deny the lovely daughter 
of the hill ? take thy brother, O Min- 
vane, thou fairer than the fnow of the 
north ! 

Such, Fingal! were thy words ; but 
thy words I hear no more. Sightlefs 
I fit by thy tomb. I hear the wind in 
the wood ; but no more I hear my 
friends. The cry of the hunter is oven 
The voice of war is leafed. 

■> • 


•I 41 il 


*TpHou afkeft^ fair daughter of the 
ifle§! whole memory is preferved 
An thefe tombs? The memory of Jlon- 
jian the bold, and Connan the cliief of 
-men ; and of her, the faireft of maids, 
Bivine the lovely and the good. The 
^ving of time is laden with care. Every 
moment hath woes of its own. Why 
r feek we our grief from afar ? or give our 
tears to thofe of other tiriies ? But thou 
commanded, and I obey, O fair daugh- 
ter of the ifles ! 

Conar was mighty in war. Caul 
was the friend of flrangers. His gates 
were open to all 5 midnight darkened 
not on his barred door. Both lived upon 
the fons of the mountains. Their bow 
jwas the fnpport of the poor. 

F Connau 

I 4* 1 

Conn an was the image of Gonads 
4bul. Caul was renewed in Ronnan his 
fon. Ri vine the daughter of Conar was 
the love of Ronnan ; her broth erCon- 
oian was his friend. She was fair as the 
harveft-moon fetting in the feas of Molo- 
chafquir. : Her foul was fettled on Ron- 
nan ; the youth was the dream of he? 

RivrkE,my love! fays Ronnan, I go 
to my king in Norway *• A year and 
a day fhall hntog me back. Wilt thou 
be true to Ronnan ? 

Ronnan ! a year and a day I will 
fpend in forrow. Ronnan, behavelike 
a man,, and my foul lhatll exult in thy 
valour. Connan my friend, fays Ron- 
nan, wilt thou preferve Rivine thy fi- 
ller ? Durftan is in love with the maid; 

* Suppofed to be Fergus II. This fragment is rec- 
koned not altogether fo ancient as moil of the reft. 


C 43 1 

and foon {hall the tea bring the flran- 
ger to our coaft. 

Ron Kan, I will defend: Do thou 
fecupely go..— —He went. He return- 
ed on his day.. ButDurflan returned, 
before him- 

Give me thy daughter, Conar, fays 
Durflan ; orfear and feel my power. 

He who dares attempt jay filler, fays> 
Connan, muft meetthis^dge of fleel. 
Unerring, in battle is my arm : my 
fword, as the lightning of heaven. 


Ronnan the warriour came; and 
much he threatened Durflan. 

But, faith Euran the fervant of . 
gold, Ronnan ! by the gate of the north 
fliall Durfian this night carry thy fair- 
one away. Accurfed, anfwers Roti- 

F 2 T«3&* 

[ 44 1 

nan, be this arm if death meet him not- 

CdNNAN ! faith Euran,< this night 
fhali the ftranger ciany thyiifter away* 
My fword lhall meet hrm, replies Gon- 
nan, and he (hall lie low on- earths 

Th e friends met by night, and they 
fought. Blood and fweafc rati dowiv 
their limbs as water on the mofTy rock- 
€onnan falEA^tnd cries, O Durftan,. 
be favourable t?Kivine ! — • And is it my 
friend, cries Ronnan, I liaye flain ? O 
Gonnan ! I knew thee not. ; 

He went, and he fought "with Qiir^ 
flan. Day began to rife on the com- 
bat, when fainting they fell, and expi- 

« • • • j? 

red. Rivine came out with the morn ; 

and O what detains my Ronnan F 

— She faw him lying pale in his blood r 
and. her brother lying pale by. his fide;. 

C, 45. 1 

What could fhe fay I what could (he 
do ? her complaints were many and vain. 
She opened this grave for the warri- 
ours ; and fell into it hcrfelf,. before it 
was clofed ; like the fan fhatched away 
in a florin* 

> • * 

TH^uhaft heard this tale of grief, 
O fair daughter of the ifles ! Rivifie was 
fair as thyfelf ; filed on her grave a, 
teai. ' ■■•■ ' ' ": '' : ** ' 

A 'I 


_....' . ... ' ^ ♦ S : ^1^4% 

T « 

» r r • • . 

» - » • > • ' 1 


r '» ' 

t ■ * - • '■» 

[ 46 ] 


T T is night $. and I am alone,, forlorn 
on the hill of ftorms. The wind is 
heard in the mountain. The torrent 
fhrieks down the rock. No hut receives 
me from the rain ; forlorn on the hill of 

Rise, moonf from behind thy 
clouds ; ftars of the night, appear I 
Lead me, fome ligjht, to the place where 
my love refts from the toil of the chace! 
his bow near him, unftrung ; his dogs 
panting around him. But here I muft 
fit alone, by the rock of the mojQTy 
flream. The flream and the wind 
roar ; nor can I hear the voice of my 
love. $ - 


Why delayeth my Shalgar, why the 
fan of the hill, his promife ? Here is 

L 47 3 

ihe rock ; and the tree ; and here the 
roaring ftream. Thou promifedft with 
night to be here. Ahl whither is my 
Shalgar gone? With thee I would fly 
my father ; with thee, my brother of 
pride. Our race have long been foes ; 
but we are not foes, O Shalgar ! 

Cease a little while, O wind! ftream, 
be thou filent a while! let my voice be 
heard over the heath; let my wanderer 
hear me. Shalgar ! it is I who call. Here 
is the tree, and the rock* Shalgar, my 
love! I am here. Why delayeft thou 
thy coming ? Alas ! no atffwer. 

Lo ! the moon appeareth. 3F3he 
flood is bright in the vale. The rocks 
are grey on the face of the hill. But 
I fee him not on the brow ; his dogs 
before him tell not that he is coming. 
Here I m oft fit alone. 

£ 43 3 


But who are thefe that lie beyond 
me on the heath ? Are they my love 
and my brother ? — Speak to me, O my 
friends ! they anfwer not. My foul is 

tormented with fears. Ah ! they are 

-dead. Their fwords are red from the 
fight. O my brother ! my brother \ 
why haft thou flain my Shalgar ? why, 
O Shalgar ! haft thou flain my brother? 
Dear were ye both to me ! fpeak to me; 
hear my voice, foiis of my love ! But 
alas! they are filent j filent for ever! 
Cold are their breafts of clay ! 

Oh! from the rock af the hill.; 
from the top of the mountain of winds, 
fpeak ye ghofts of the dead ! fpeak, 

and I will not be afraid. Whither 

are ye gone to reft ? In what cave of 
the hill (ball I find you ? 

I fit in my grief. I wait for morn- 
ing in my {ears. Rear the tomb, yc 


F 49 ] 

friends of the dead ; but clofe it' not* 
till I come. My life flieth away like a • 
dream: why fliould I flay: behind? 
"Here fhaJl I reft with my friends by the - 
ftream of the founding rock. When- 
Bight comes on the hill ? when the wind ; 
is up on the heath ; my ghoft fliall ftand • 
in the wind,,. and mourn the death ofV* 
my friends. The hunter fhaU hear 
from his booth. He fhall fear, but: 
love my voice* For fweet (hall my voicfe • 
be for my friends y, for pleafant w«*«.: 
they both to me.. 


[ 5o ] 


C AD ! I am fad indeed : nor fmall my 
caufe of woe ! — Kirmor, thou haft 
loft no fon j thou haft loft no daugh- 
ter of beauty* Connar the valiant lives; 
and Annir the faireft of maids. The 
boughs of thy family flourifh, O Kir- 
mor ! but Armyn is the laft of his 

Rise, winds of autumn, rifej blow 
upon the dark heath ! ftreams of the 
mountains, roar! howl, ye tempefts, 
in the trees! walk through broken 
clouds, Omoon! fhow by intervals thy 
pale face ! bring to my mind that fad 
night, when all my children fell j when 
Arindel the mighty fell ; when Daura 
the lovely died. 

Daura, my daughter 1 thou wert 

" [ 5i ] 

fair; fair as the moon on the hills of 
Jura ; wh ite as the driven fnow ; fweet as 
the breathing gale. Armor renowned in 
war came, and fought Daura's love ; he 
was not long denied ; fair was the hope 
of their friends. 

Earch fon of Odgal repined; for ^ 
his brother was flain by Armor. He ! 
came difguifcd like a fon of the fea : 
fair was his fluff on the wave; white 
his locks of age $ calm his ferious brow. 
Faireft of women, he faid, lovely daugh- 
ter of Armyn ! a rock not diftant in 
the fea, bears a tree on its fide; red 
fhines the fruit afar. There Armor 
waiteth for Daura. I came to fetch 
his love. Come, fair daughter of Ar- 


She went ; and (he called on Armor. 
Nought anfwered, but the fon of the 
rock. Armor, my fove! my lave I 

G 2 ^1 

t 5* 1 

v«rhy tormented tho» mfc with feat? 

*coroe, graceful fon of Ardnaft, comc| 

«ii ia Daura. who calieth thee l-^Earch, 
the traitor fled laughing to the land* 
She lifted up her voice, and cried for 

* her brother and her father* ArindeH 
Army if! none to relieve .your* Daura? 

. He$ voice came over the for. 'Aria- 

del my fon defcended from the hill, i 

.--rough in thefpoils^of tkevchace. His 

arrows rattled by his^iid^ ; 'his* bow was 

in his hand} five grey dogs attended 

his fteps. He faw fierce ^Earch on the 

ihore ; l he feized and bound him to an 

oak. Thick "fly the thongs of the hrcte 

arotffid his limbs i he loads the wind 

*wfch.h« groans. 


Arindbl afcends the furgy deep in 

his boat, to bring T>aura. to the land. 

•Armor came in his wrath, and let fly 

-the greyfeitherfed fhaft* It fung; k 

t $3 ] 

ffonk in thy heart, Q Ariadicl njy r f0te! 

?for Earch the traitor thoti diedft. What 
is thy grief, O Da«fa> when ^rduijd 
thy feet is. poured thy broth«t ? s bloodi 

'. . 


T&e boat is broken Jn twain byths 

^aves. Armor plunges iato the fea, to 

«refcue his Daura or die. Sudden a Waft 

vfrom the "hifl. comes over the waves. 

He funk, and he role no more. 

Axone, on ; the -fea-beat roek, my 

* daughter was beard, to<complain. Fre- 
quent and loud were her cries; npr 

•could her father relieve her. All 

• night I flood on the fhore. All night I 
'heard her cries. Loud was the wind ; 
and the rain beat hard on the fide of the 
mountain. Before morning appeared, 
her voice was weak* -It died away, like 
the evening-breeze among the grafs .of 
the rocks. Spent with grief (he-expired. 
O lay mefoon by her fide. 

[ 54 ) 

When the ftorms of the mountain 
come 5 when the north lifts the waves 
on high ; I fit by the founding fhore, 
and look on the fatal rock. . Often by 
the fetting moon I fee the ghofts of 
my children. Indiftindt, they walk in 
mournful conference together. Will 
none of you fpeak to me ? — But they 
do not regard their father. 

[ 55 J 



Ry n o. 

THE wind and the raiu arc over: 
calm is the noon of day. :Tbc 
clouds are divided in heaven V J Over 
the green hills flies the inconftant fun. 
Red through the ftony vale comes 
down the ftream of the hill. Sweet are 
thy murmurs, O ftream ! but more 
fweet is the voice I hear. It is the voice 
of Alpin the fon of the fong, mourning 
for the dead. Bent is his head of age, 
and red his tearful eye. Alpin, thou 
fon of the fong, why alone on the fi- 
lenthill? why complaineft thou, as a 
blaft in the wood 3 as a^wave on the 
lonely fhore ? 

I: 5* 3 

A I, PIN. 

• -. 

My tears j,ORyno I are for the desd*. 
my voice, for the inhabitants of the 
grave. Tall thou art on the hill j. fan?, 
among the fons of the plain. But thou 
fhalt fall like Mosar ; and the mourner 
fhalt fit on thy tomb. The hills fhall- 
know thee no more 3. thy bow fkail lie ln^ 
the haily unfitting. 

Th ou west fvviff, O Moraf t as a? 
*oe on the hill ; terrible gs a* meteor of 
fire. Thy wrath was as the ftbrra of 
December, Thy fword in battk, as 
lightning in the field. Thy voice was 
like a ftoeam after rain ; like thunder 
on diftaiit hills. Many fell by thy 
arm j they were confiimed in the flames 
of thy wrath. 

But when thou returnedft from war, 

[ 57 1 

how peaceful was thy brow ! Thy face 
was like the fun after rain ; like the 
moon in thefilence of night; calm as 
the breaft of the lake when the loud 
wind is laid. 

Narrow is thy dwelling now ; dark 
the place of thine abode. With three' 
fteps I compafs thy grave, O thou who 
waft fo great before ! Four ftones with 
their heads of mols are the only memo- 
rial of thee. A tree with fcarce a leaf, 
long grafs which whittles in the wind, 
mark to the hunter's eye the grave of 
the mighty Morar. Mofar! thou art 
low indeed. Thou haft no mother to* 
mourn thee ; no maid with her tears of 
love. Dead is fhe that brought thee 
forth. Fallen is the daughter of Mbr- 

Who on his ftafFis this ? who is this, 
whofe head is white with age, wlkffc 

[ 58 ] 

eyes arc red with tears, who quakes 
at every ftep? —It is, thy. father, © 
Morar.! the father of none but thee. 
He heard ofthy fame in battle 5 he heard 
of foes difperfed. He heard of Morar s 
fame ; why did he not hear of his 
wound? Weep, thourfatherof Morar! 
weep; but thy fon heareththee not. 
Deep is the deep of the dead ; low their 
pillow of duft. No more (hall he hear 
thy voice ; no more (hall he awake at 
thy call. When fhall it be morn in the 
grave, to. bid the flumberer awake ? 

Farewell, thou braveft of raenl 
thou conqueror in the field ! but the field 
fhall fee thee no more; nor the dark 
wood be lightened with the fplendor of 
thy fteel. Thou haft left no fon. 
But the fong fhall preferve thy name. 
Future times fhall hear of thee ; they 
fhall hear of the fallen Morar. 


I 59 J 

XIII *. 

/^Uchulaid fat by the wall ;. by the 
tree of the tuftling leaf f. His 
fpear leaned againft xhe molly rock. 
His, fhield lay by him on the grafs* 
Whilft he thought on the mighty Carbre 
whom he flew in battle, the fcout of 
the ocean came,, Moran the fon of Fi- 

Rise, Cuehulaid, rife ! I fee the (hips 
of Garve. Many are the foe, Cuehulaid ; 
many the fons of Lochlyn.^ 

Mo ran ! thou ever trembled ; thy 
fears increafe the foe. They are the 
fhips of the Defert of hills arrived to af- 
£ft Cuehulaid. 

* This is the opening of the epic poem mentioned 
in the preface. The two following fragments are pares 
of fome epifodes of the fame work. 

f The aipen or poplar tree* 

11 2. X 

[ 6o ] 

I faw their chief, fays Moran, tall as 
a rock of ice. His fpear is like that fir; 
his fhield like the rifing moon. He fat 
upon a rock on the fhore, as a grey 
cloud upon the hill. Many, mighty 
man ! I faid, many are our heroes; 
'Garve, well art thou named *, many 
are the fons of out king. 

He anfwered like a wave on the 
rock ; who is like me here ? The va- 
liant live not with me; they go to the 
earth from my hand. The king of the 
Defert of hills alone can fight with 
Garve. Once we wreftled on the hill. 
Our heels overturned the wood. Rocks 
fell from their place, and rivulets chan- 
ged their courfe. Three days we ftrove 
together; heroes flood at a diftance, 
and feared. On the fourth, the King 
faith that I fell ; but Garve faith, he 

* Garve fignifics a man of grfcat fize. 

C *i J 

flood. Let Cuchulaid yield to him that 
is ftrong as a ftorm. - 

No. I will never yield to man. 
Cuchulaid will conquer or die. Go, 
Moran, take my fpear ; ftrike the fhield 
of Caithbait which hangs before the 
gate. It never rings in peace. My he- 
roes (hall hear on the hill. 

t 62 ] 




* A^Orna, thoufaireft of women, 
i.VX daughter of Cormac-Carbre ! 
tvhy in the circle of ftones, in the cave 
of the rock, alone ? The ftream mur- 
tnureth hoarfely. The blaft groaneth 
in the aged tree. The lake is troubled 
before thee. Dark are the clouds of 
the iky. But thou art like fnow on 
the heath. Thy hair like a thin cloud 
of gold on the top of Cromleach. Thy 

* The fignification of the names in this fragment 
are ; Dubhcbomar, a black well-fiiaped man. Muirne 
or Morn a, a woman beloved by all. Cormac-cairbre. 
an unequalled and rough warriour. Cromleach, a 
crooked hill. Mugrach, a furly gloomy man. 
Tarman, thunder. Moinie, foft in temper and per* 

C 63 1 

breads like two fmooth rocks on the hill 
wjiich is feen from the ftream of Bran- 
nuin. Thy arms, as two white pillars 
in the hall of Fingal. 

Morn a. 

Whence the fon of Mugrach, Du- 
chommar themofl gloomy of men? Dark 
are thy brows of terror. Red thy roll- 
ing eyes. Does Garve appear on the 
fea ? What of the foe, Duchommar ? 



From the hill I return, O Morna, 
from the hill of the flying deer. Three 
have I flain with my bow ; three with 
my panting dogs. Daughter of Cor- 
mac-Carbre, I love thee as my foul. I 
have flain a deer for thee. High was 
his branchy head ; and fleet his feet of 

C ** I 

* • i 

Morn a. 

Gloomy fon of Mugruch, Duchom* 
mar ! I love thee not : hard is thy heart 
of rock ; dark thy terrible brow. But 
Cadmor the fon of Tarman, thou art 
the love of Morna ! thou art like a fun- 
beam on the hill, in the day of the* 
gloomy ftorm. Sawed thou the fon of 
Tarman, lovely on the hill of the chace ? 
Here the daughter of Cormac-Carbre 
waiteth the coming of Cadmor. 


And long fhali Morna wait. His 
blood is on my fword. I met him by 
the mofly ftone, by the oak of the noify 
ft ream. He fought $ but I flew him ;< 
his blood is on my fword. High on 
the hill I will raife his tomb, daughter 
of Cormac-Carbre. But love thou the: 


I *5 J 

ton of Mugruch ; his arm is ftrong as a* 
ftorm. ."■'•■'.*■ 

And ♦ is the fon of Tarman fallen ;z 
the youth with the breaft .of fhow Ktjie- 

fkfl; in ihechace x>fc the ; hJH ; ; the foe 

* . 

of the fops of the ocean L — Duchom- 
mar, thou art gloomy, indeed ;:. cruel is** 
thy arm tome. • r -* But give me thajfv 
i fword,, fon .of Mugruch ;. I love the: 
blood of Gadmor, 

[He gives herthefword^ with which?* 
flie inftantly' ftabs him . ] 



Daughter of Cormae-Carbre, thorax 
haft pierced Duchommar ! thefword is 
cold in my breaft ;. thou haft killed the 
Son of: Mugruch. Give me to Moifife 



t 66 ] 

the maid ; for much fhe loved Duchom- 
mar. My tomb fhe will raife on the: 
hilL; the hunter fhall fee it, and praife 

me. But draw the fword from my 

fide, Morna $ I feel it cold. ■ 

[Upon her coming near him, he flabs 
lier. As fhe fell,' fhe plucked a ftone- 
from the fide of the cave, and placed it' 
betwixt them, that bis blood might not" 
be mingled with hers.] 



[ *7 ] 

* XJ[?^ ZKE ls GealchofTa my love, the 
daughter of Tuathal-Teachvar ? 
I left her in the hall of the plain, when I 
fought with the hairy Ulfadha. Re- 
turn foon, (he faid, O Lamderg ! for 
here I wait in forrow. Her white bread 
rofe with lighs ; her cheek was wet 
with tears. But (he cometh not to meet 
Lamderg ; or footh his foul after battle. 
^Silent is the hall of joy; I hear not 
the voice of the finger. Braiin does 
not fhake his chains at the gate, glad 


at the coming of his mafter. Where 
is GealchofTa my love, the daughter of 
Tuathal-Teachvar ? 

* The fignification of the names in this fragment are; 
Geakhbflack, white-legged. Tuathal-Teachtmhar, 
the fur!y, but fortunate map, Lambhdearg, bloody- 
hand. Ulfadha, long beard. Firchios the conque- -S* 
ror of men. 

[ 68 ;] 

3L amd erg ! fays Firchios fon of Ay- 
<idon, Gealchofla may be on the hilK; 
.ihe and her chofen maids, purfuing the 
-#ying deer. - 

Firchios ! no noife I hear.* !N© 
•found in the wood of the hill. No 

• jleer fly in my fight ; no .panting dog 
purfueth. I fee not Gealchofla my 
love; feir as the full moon letting on 
the hills of Cromleach. *Go, firchios! 
go t# ^llad */ - the grey^haired fon trf 
the rock. .He liveth m the v circle of 

• (tones ; he may tell of G^alp&ctfla. ^ 

v ■ ■' 


All ad! faith Firchios, tBbo who 
^dwelleft . in the rock ; thqp who trem- 
bleft alone jVwhafc few thine eyes of 
age ? 

. I faw, anfwered 4 Allad the old, Ul- 

* Allad Is plainly a Droid -confulrcd on this ccca- 


t *9 3 

llln the fori of Carbre : He came IHce a 
cloud from the hill ; he hummed a futf- 
iy fong as he came, like a ftorm in 
rleaflefs wood. He entered the hall of 
the plain. Lamderg* he cried, moft 
dreadful of men I fight, or yield to Ul- 
iin. Lamderg, replied GealcbofTa, 
Lamderg is not here : he fights the 
hairy Ulfadha ; mighty man, he is not 
here. But Lamderg never yields ; he 
will fight the fon of Carbre. Lovely art 
thou, O daughter of Tuathal-TeacL- 
var! faid Ullin. I carry thee to the 
* houfe of Carbre ; the valiant fliall have 
Gealchofla. Three days from the top 
of Cromleach will I call Lamderg to 
fight. The fourth, you. belong to Ul- 
lin, if Lamderg die, or fly my fword. 

Allad! peace to fhy. dreams! — 
found the horn, Firchiosl ^S^tJilin may 
hear, and meet me on the top of Crom- 

[ 7o ] 

Lamderg rufhed on like a ftbrm. 
On his fpear he leaped over rivers. Few 
were his ftrides up the hill. The rocks 
fly back from his heels ; loud crashing 
they bound to the plain. His armour, 
his buckler rung. He hummed a furly 
fong, like the noife . of the falling 
ftream. Dark as a cloud he flood a- 
bove ; his arms, like meteors, fhone. 
From the fummit of the hill, he rolled 
a rock. Ullin heard in the halt of 


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